Saturday, September 19, 2009

2PR FMs first live test is a success!

Well, our first big test has come and gone, and much of it with success. For the first time in it's nine year history, 2PR FM has broadcasted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for an entire month just like any conventional radio station. This has been in a big part due to vast improvements in automated music software, and a huge price drop in streaming data services.

With the occasional drop out, listeners have reported great results with the feed. As many are aware, the stream was a moderately low 48kps service, for measuring out how well our hardware will cope, and mainly the software.

Our second test, which at this point is to be announced, will contain a greater range of music, as they are still thousands of new tracks to encode from our vast library. Even more exciting in our next test, our programming material will be an AAC encoded mp3 live stream at a much higher quality rate. It willll equal if not surpass the sound quality of current FM and digital radio. This will make 2PR FM receivable on home computers, and all the latest current mobile devices.

For now, we unfortunately call it an end to our current test, as the further improvements will be made

More info can be found at:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The heyday of cassette tape

In a few weeks time, it will be my 40th birthday, and being an old analog nut, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate, then to grab this rare find off eBay.

It's 140 rare 1983 Maxell UDXLII audio cassettes, yes the good ones with the square shaped hubs.

As many cassette lovers know, the quality of today’s tapes and their cassette shells has deteriorated severely over the years. This is due to the main cassette manufacturers making major cut backs in their tape plants, and trimming every corner possible to save on costs. This is largely due to the main stream take up of digital storage devices, such as CDRs, portable players like ipods, and removable hard-drives.

When it comes to the actual cassette, components and models are stripped down with each successive year. Parts such as pressure pads, specialised slip and press plates used for stable tape travel, and adhesive labels have been completely removed from today’s models. These include Sony's HF's and EF's.

With cassettes getting rarer, members on audio forums, such as and are placing extra efforts into lobbying cassette companies. This is in hoping that they will re-consider the introduction of their old tape models again, like Maxell's XLI and TDK's AD. As member’s letters are just getting ignored, it is becoming clearer that the TDKs and Maxells are adamant on no more tape production.

In the end, the remaining "New Old Stock" of blank audio tapes is dwindling by the day, thus ultimately pushing up prices on auction sites like eBay and Amazon.

With this in mind, it's no wonder I was totally blown away with winning these tapes. The last time Maxell used this key technology in their shell design was 1989 for the S-LN range. Since about 1991, all their cassettes have reverted back to the standard rounded hub design, which has become common place with all their current transparent shell models.